Knowing Your Tribe
Accounting - Divestment | Acquisition | Merger
“It’s all about the money… I’m out of here!”….I’m tired; I’m at my limit”, “My staff are good but not at Partner level”, “We lack X,Y, Z Skills and Services”… it goes on.
We hear you and understand the struggles of the profession. If you were really wanting to divest or merge the main questions should be ‘where and why’.
You need to know your target is of the right TRIBE over the offer on the table – no ifs, buts or maybes.
Is your ‘TRIBE’ a Listed Entity, a mid-tier Firm, 2~4 times the size your revenue, Multi-Partner Firm, or a mirrored version of yourself?
Do they bring the solution you seek: Different skill sets, a new brains trust, an eco-system that seamlessly fits, an evolution for all parties, a greater team?
A view of the tribes by revenue:
Tribe 300k-1.5 Firms probably make up the bulk of our industry with sole practitioners to multi-partner operations. If it’s a small two partner firm, check partner’s billable hours. It might not be what you were envisioning; they may be overly hands on.
Tribe 1.5-5m Firms may have a partner leaving, seek to bring a partner on and hope to break the 5m ceiling they have been trapped at. Look at the age group of the partners and staff as an average. Review revenue quantum per partner.
Tribe 5-10m Firms are a different game plan… if you are joining them, ensure one is aware of all partnership personalities, relations and that this is a very different world and human interaction is getting busier. The spectrum of skill sets should be broad.
Tribe 10-30m Firms are dynamic in themselves and should have multiple levels of management that can help with HR and other areas a sole practitioner or a 2 partner firm normally get bogged down in. These firms generally mirror mid-tier and the ‘BIG 4’.
Tribe 50m Firms + and Listed Entities will have a lot of reporting, profit focused, a management fee but what do you really get with this? Explore this carefully. Interview the partners that have left – they will communicate more openly.
Ensure you always explore the following: